Winter Evening A Poem By Archibald Lampman

1256 words - 5 pages

Archibald Lampman’s poem Winter Evening creates a scene of a surreal sun setting and the impending bitter night that waits for the speaker. This poem is among the pastoral poetry meaning that it creates a scene of a landscape and shows the contrast between urban and rural lifestyle, Lampman creates a scene of a town and the interaction of the sun’s rays and the image of the country side as the sun is setting. The figurative meaning behind the poem has a little more room for interpretation from the reader themselves; the poem has strong spiritual and religious references, and also contains has the idea of hope and (despair) throughout the poem. Lampman uses some other tactics to help indicate a change during the poem with a change in the rhyme scheme to show two distinct places or states of mind of the speaker. Overall the poem immerses the reader in this scene with vivid imagery and diction creates figurative meaning to elicit an emotional response.
The literal meaning of the poem is the speaker is watching a surreal sun set; the sun’s last light fills the sky with a “Sea of gold”. The speaker is on a street, with a lot of houses beautiful houses, looking down the street to the West as the sun sets. The speaker reveals that they are not looking forward to the impending night ahead of them, that they think is going to be very cold and unforgiving “With silence and the sharp unpitying stars, Stern creeping frosts, and winds that touch like steel”. Lampman’s poetry consist mainly pastoral poetry, comparing urban to rural lifestyles, which is used in this poem to show the speaker’s view of the country side verses the city. With Lampman’s word choice and imagery reveals that the speaker views the countryside in a more positive light. The word “Crowed” is used to describe the chimneys of the houses in the city giving off smoke; the word crowed makes the city feel tight and uncomfortable for the speakers. The two scenes of the city “From all the crowed chimneys tower and die A thousand aureoles” compared to the countryside “The brimming plains beneath the sunset rest, One burning sea of gold” the visual stunning scene of the countryside of a sea of gold blows the scene of halos in the sky in the city away. The attitude of the sun and night stay the same throughout the poem. The speaker views the sun as sublime, majestic, and divine with thousands of halos in the sky and golden palaces. The speaker views the night as the opposite light by relating it to something to be feared, unrelenting, and inevitable with “Unpitying stars” and “Winds that touch like steel”.
There are many figurative interpretations behind this poem, many revolving around the idea that of life, death, afterlife, and divinity. The word golden is used a lot is this poem to get the imagine of the rays of light interacting with the speakers surrounding; but the golden reference is also used with the figurative interpretation that the poem is about life, death, and divinity. The imagery...

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